HDRI Renders & Issues (Part I)
The results are in:
In some examples below, I converted the Light Probe file into a panorama using HDR Shop, which is also on the same website. Once a Light Probe was converted to a panorama, it was mapped onto a large sphere that surrounded the scene.
On a side note, this application can also assemble a series of 24 bit photos taken with different exposures into a single HDR file. This means a 3d artist can photograph a highly reflective sphere and acquire an image of its surrounding environment. A series of differently exposed photos of the same sphere can be consolidated into a single high dynamic range file that contains much more lighting information than a 24 bit file.
The Scene & Objects:
This model of a pre-Columbian sculpture, is a sub-patch object. It has several surfaces and textures; some are procedural; others are bitmaps. There is a large polygon groundplane just below the bottom of the model. In each render, all lights were turned off by unchecking the "Affect Diffuse" and "Affect Specular." The Ambient property was set to zero.